Start Kuyper Year
The 2020-2021 academic year was opened with the opening speech by Mirjam van Praag, President of the Executive Board.Further guests were Marry de Gaay Fortman, lawyer and commissioner of large companies and bestselling author and behavioral scientist Ben Tiggelaar.
For the first time ever, we have launched the academic year at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam online. This is a very special year because VU Amsterdam is celebrating its 140th anniversary. The Opening of the Academic Year (OAJ) also marks the start of the celebratory Kuyper Year, in which VU Amsterdam is organizing a host of events inspired by its founder Abraham Kuyper - a man whose initiatives can still provide inspiration for more democracy, more diversity and more social entrepreneurship.During the OAJ, social entrepreneurship will take centre stage.
Social entrepreneurship at VU Amsterdam
In the year when VU Amsterdam blows out 140 candles, the world was hit by coronavirus. As numerous businesses attempt to weather the storm, many people are also emerging as social entrepreneurs. They are coming up with initiatives to help each other, and their value for society is at least as important as their financial value.
In this economic downturn, the VU Amsterdam community is also buzzing with innovative ideas worthy of an entrepreneurial approach. This entrepreneurial approach to ideas is set to make an important difference. More than ever before, VU Amsterdam aims to be an incubator for start-ups. Where its founder Abraham Kuyper once used crowdfunding to launch the VU enterprise, entrepreneurial students, staff and alumni are now capable of achieving much more!
At the opening some inspirational examples were shown of entrepreneurs changing the world for the better. Their initiatives range from a search engine that uses artificial intelligence to rapidly find technologies that offer companies solutions to their problems, to a homework institute for less well-off school students. VU Amsterdam President of the Executive Board Mirjam van Praag, management guru Ben Tiggelaar and female corporate leader Marry de Gaay Fortman discussed the outstanding entrepreneurship embodied by these initiatives.